The Never-Ending Search for Higher Productivity

  On the face of it, higher productivity looks like a Good Thing. More products for less time. Who wouldn’t want this? But I wonder about this search for higher productivity. What do managers really want? If you want to understand about productivity for software organizations, read Putnam and Myers’ new book, Five Core Metrics: …

Agile Techniques are Discipline from Within the Team, not Control from the PM

  I’m at the 13ICSQ conference this week. One person (at least) was confused about agile processes: Conference attendee: “Agile processes are a license to hack!!!!!!!” JR: “No. Every agile team I’ve seen is highly disciplined. No hacking there. I’m sure there are people who say they’re performing agile development, and they’re just hacking, but …

One-on-Ones: Just as Necessary for Managers

Last week at the Software Development conference, I met a software director. His group, a total of about 30-40 people (I’ve forgotten the exact number) is responsible for all the software his company produces. He has two managers managing those folks. He’s busy, so although he requests that his managers have one-on-ones with their staff, …

Demotivation

  First read Esther’s entry about the Secrets of Motivation for some great pointers on not demotivating people. If you’re having a cynical day or need a chuckle go to Despair.com. At dinner last night, some friends were talking about motivational posters — and we all laughed. One colleague told me about these sarcastic motivational …

What if Managers Worked Smarter?

I was reading David Anderson’s Working Smarter Not Harder and thought about managers. David’s right, a few small improvements can dramatically increase a team’s productivity and therefore lower the cost of development. But I contend that most of the productivity costs in software is the way we mismanage software projects. If managers worked smarter, they …